Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz were romantically linked on the set of “Sahara,” but their pay was anything but close. Here are how they and co-star Steve Zahn joined the cast, as well as how much they made and their “star perks.”
Although studio executives pursued Tom Cruise, Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and other A-listers to play Dirk Pitt, Matthew McConaughey lobbied “Sahara” novelist Clive Cussler and pestered producers for the part.
“I always said I was looking for a character that could wrestle with crocodiles in the morning and dance with the queen at the ball that night,” McConaughey said on a “Sahara” DVD commentary. “That kind of renaissance man [is] Dirk Pitt.”
McConaughey’s persistence paid off. He received an $8-million actor’s fee and $833,923 in what the budget called “star perks.” As an executive producer, his company was paid $250,000. And his contract provided potential box-office bonuses and royalties from merchandising, video game and soundtrack revenues.
All for about 90 days of filming in Morocco, England and Spain.
Salary: $8 million
Perks: $833,923, including:
Entourage travel: $179,262
Makeup artist: $150,223
Stunt double: $124,740
Personal chef: $48,893
Gym room at hotel: $3,488